- The Washington Times - Friday, January 14, 2005

Unmarried women turned out in record numbers in last year’s election and voted overwhelmingly for Sen. John Kerry, while President Bush captured the majority of married women’s votes, including a group that Kerry supporters had hoped to attract — married women without college degrees.

Single women were one of the few demographic groups to increase their share of the electorate last election, according to a report by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

“Unmarried women played an important part in this election,” said Democratic strategist and pollster Stanley Greenberg, who helped compile and analyze the report data. “I think they’re the future.”

This group increased its proportion of the electorate by three percentage points — from 19 percent in 2000 to 22.4 percent in 2004. The difference of about 7 million unmarried women voters can largely be attributed to grassroots groups such as the nonpartisan Women’s Voices Women Vote, which targeted unmarried women with get-out-the-vote phone calls, mailings and public service announcements, the report found.

Mr. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, received most of the single-woman vote — 62 percent to 37 percent for Mr. Bush. But married women voted predominantly for Mr. Bush — 55 percent to 44 percent, according to the report, which cited National Election Pool’s exit poll conducted by Edison/Mitofsky.

The report also cited erosion among blue collar voters as one of the main factors in Mr. Bush’s victory. In 2000, Al Gore lost this group by only 2 percent. In 2004, Mr. Kerry lost it by 6 percent, 47 percent to 53 percent.

Mr. Kerry’s supporters expected their candidate to do well at least among married women without college degrees, but this group voted 58 percent for Mr. Bush, 42 percent for Mr. Kerry.

“Values is the heart of why we lost,” Mr. Greenberg said. Mr. Bush won largely because values-related issues such as same-sex “marriage” eclipsed other issues in the election, and many were concerned that Mr. Kerry is a social liberal, he added

“Democrats have to be … more expressive in their values,” Mr. Greenberg said.

Both married and unmarried women voiced concerns about Iraq, the report found, but the Bush campaign effectively harnessed the support of married women when it interjected cultural issues such as abortion and same-sex “marriage” into the debate.

“Driven by concerns of John Kerry’s resolve and character, married women, along with many others, voted for safety and values,” the report said. In contrast, however: “Unmarried women held a set of progressive values that stood in clear contrast to the Bush campaign. Instead of being swayed by the culture wars and issues such as abortion and gay ‘marriage,’ unmarried women were polarized by them.”

Most unmarried women opposed the war in Iraq and supported abortion rights, same-sex “marriage” and an increased role for government in health care and education, the report found.

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